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[What is disk defrag?] [Ask Dr. Know]
  What is disk defrag?
  How often do I need
  to perform it?
  -- Vikas Natarajan

[Bubbles Helps out]

- Where can I find info on ad sites?

- Where can I find info on insurance?

- What is data mining and warehousing?

How do I retrieve my lost password?

Just as your house needs cleaning regularly, so does your computer system. You've probably noticed, Vikas, that when your computer is brand new, it works really fast. However, as you add more applications and software, the system slows down considerably.

When you repeatedly use a file stored on your computer (like writing, deleting or saving the same file), it gets fragmented in the disk. Due to this your system slows down and takes longer to retrieve information.


Get a technical understanding of how files are stored in clusters through the process of fragmentation. Another great tutorial explains defrag in detail, and has tips on keeping your hard disk in shape.

What does defragmenting exactly do? Let's take an example. You save a file of 500 KB to your disk. The computer hunts for the nearest free space -- which on a properly defragged disk will be available only towards the end of the used area of the disk. Now, you create another file and save it. The computer will save this file sequentially after the first one.

The next day you open the first file and add another 100 KB to it. What will your computer do? It will store the additional 100 KB only after the second file. In simple terms, your first file has now fragmented.

Deframenting essentially joins all fragments of files and arranges them in logical order, so your computer reads them faster. It also clusters groups of files associated with particular applications together so that they load faster.

Microsoft Windows comes with an inbuilt defrag utility. You can find it in the Start > Programs > Accessories > System tools menu.

There are utilities called disk defragmenters that optimise file performance by rearranging them Examples of this are the Diskeeper, designed to keep your computer system speedy and optimized, Defrag Commander a tool that can defrag every system on your network from just one PC, and Power Defrag 2.00 that improves the performance of the Microsoft disk fragmenter tool and prevents common crashes. There are also tools that keep defrag in the background while your network is up and running.

Search here for more software. Also look up cnet and zdnet.

Eopinions and howstuffworks also have comprehensive information on disk defragmentation.

And if you are wondering how frequently you should clean up your system, Bubbles has one piece of advice: Defrag often!


Why Defrag? | Tips on Defragmenting your Disk | Defrag for Windows NT | Microsoft Defrag | Analysis, troubleshooting


What is overclocking? | What is peer to peer computing? | What is CD burning? | What is disk partitioning? | How do I 'zip' and 'unzip' files? | How do I customise my browser? | What is steganography?


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